American seed accelerator Y Combinator has inducted four Indian startups in its Summer 2019 batch of startups. The selected startups include an ecommerce platform Binks, vernacular news platform Lokal, on-demand fuel delivery startup MyPetrolPump and a WhatsApp API-based gig workers hiring app called Vahan.
50Every year, Y Combinator accelerates two startup batches and invests $150K each in them. Started in 2005 by Paul Graham, Jessica Livingston, Trevor Blackwell and Robert Tappan Morris, YC has funded over 1.9K startups with a portfolio of startups such as Airbnb, Dropbox, Quora and Reddit. The combined valuation of YC-funded startups has reached over $100 Bn.
Usually a large number of companies apply to Y Combinator and only a handful are selected. 2019’s winter batch of Y Combinator also had four Indian startups including MyScoot, Skill-lync, Trexo Robotics and Mudrex Inc.
Till date, Y Combinator has invested in multiple Indian startups including, ClearTax, RazorPay, Meesho, Observe.AI, Supr Daily, WheelStart, Wifi Dabba, Drivezy, CureSkin, Fastpad, LotusPay, Innov8, Kisan Network, Vanido, Dost Education, DocTalk, Piggy, Bulk MRO Industrial Supply, GoLorry, RedCarpetUp, Cashfree, Playment, Groww, Credy, Leena AI, Kyte.ai, Ziffy Homes and Prodigal Technologies.
Here are the four startups selected in the 2019 Summer Batch:
Binks: Bengaluru-based Binks is an online store founded by Aamna Khan and Raj Vardhan in early 2019. The company enables Indian women to buy tailor-made clothing online. According to the company, women have to share a picture of themselves and answer a few questions, after which the app makes all of her bought clothing tailor-made to fit the buyer’s body.
Lokal: Bengaluru-based Lokal is a vernacular news platform founded by Vipul Chaudhary, and Jani Pasha in 2018. The company employs a team of freelance journalists to deliver ground reports in native languages. The company claims to be targeting the largely underserved market in India who got access to Internet with the Jio-led internet data revolution and cheap smartphones.
MyPetrolPump: Bengaluru-based MyPetrolPump was founded by Ashish Gupta and Nabin Roy in 2016. It is an on-demand gas delivery platform for trucks, cars and generators in India. MyPetrolpump aims to address the problems of safety, adulteration and pilferage in fuel handling.
Vahan: Bengaluru-based Vahan was founded in 2016. It uses artificial intelligence and WhatsApp’s API to automate hiring of blue collar workforce. The company claims to be working across sectors including Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare and BFSI. Some of their clients include Zomato, Dunzo, Uber Eats, and Swiggy.
Update 1: August 20, 2019 | 1:47 PM
Wingman: Bengaluru-based Wingman was founded by Shruti Kapoor, Muralidharan Venkatasubramanian and Srikar Yekollu in 2018. The company has built a virtual assistant software that helps sales representatives to close deals by listening to their conversation and automatically giving them the exact information they need in real-time.
Digi-Prex: Hyderabad and San Franciso-based Digi-Prex was founded by Samarth Sindhi in 2019. It is an online subscription pharmacy for patients with chronic diseases in India. The company claims to use artificial intelligence to provide customised lifestyle management solutions for patients with chronic diseases allowing them to have access to a holistic solution at one location.
Khabri: Khabri is an android app which aggregates Indian language audio content from various news platforms, motivational podcasts and other content creators such as Indresh RC, MD Motivation, Vinay Sir, Acharya Om Prakash, Abby Viral, TS Madan, Awal English and more.
Mela: Mela is an android app, enabling Indians to buy products across categories such as mobile covers, kurtis, pen drive, tempered glass and more, at a 90% cheaper rate by buying with friends and family over WhatsApp.
Nonu Care: Founded by Anudeep Reddy, Nonu Care offers a hair loss prevention kit. The Hyderabad-based company claims that the hair kit includes two USA drug authority approved medicines, 60 natural vitamin chocolates, and medicinal herbs.
GreenTiger: Founded by Prateek Swain and Tyler Burnam, California-based Green Tiger enables Indian retail investors to trade U.S. securities without charging any commission fee.
In an email conversation with Inc42, Y Combinator has shared names of six other Indian companies who are part of the Y Combinator’s 2019 summer batch. According to a YC spokesperson, the accelerator programme has seen a 50% increase in applications from Indian startups in 2019. “Y Combinator has interviewed 140 companies from India this time and accepted 12 from India. (10 are listed here, as two are not yet public.), ” the spokesperson added.